One of the most common questions I get about the dogs is what type of grooming tools I use on them.
In the seven years that I’ve been blogging I have never devoted a whole post to this topic and the only reason I can think of for not doing that is because, in my opinion, grooming tools are ultimately based on personal preference. There’s a standard that you go by but it ultimately comes down to what works best for you and what is in your budget.
However, since Newfoundlands require daily grooming and some people who get a Newfie are never given a guide as to what grooming tools are best, I put together a list of the most common tools that are used by those of us who have being using them for years on our own dogs.
Here’s a list of the most common grooming tools that are used on Newfoundlands:
- Pin brush. This is my everyday brush and by far my favorite. I use the Chris Christensen 20mm oblong pin brush. A pin brush is great for everyday grooming. Used for removing tangles from longer coats. The pins move through the hair removing tangles while the ends of the brush gather dead hair. Pin brushes come in a ton of different sizes and varieties. It’s personal preference which one you choose but try to stay away from the ones with the little plastic balls on the top. Those will just fall off and I’ve had issues with them snagging the coat. I’m personally not a fan of the longer pins which is why I use a 20mm BUT a lot of people will use something longer.
- Undercoat rake. An undercoat rake is used to remove undercoat and tangles from double coated breeds like the Newfoundland. The long teeth (pins/tines) get deep down into the coat and grab out loose fur and matts. They come in a wide range of styles with different teeth lengths for different coats and textures. The rakes that come with different lengths and double rows are best for removing undercoat. A single length, single row is best for everyday use.
- Slicker brush. Used for de-matting and removing dead hair from the undercoat. The wire pins move through the coat to untangle hair while the bent ends gather dead hair. Slicker brushes come in all different sizes and can be found with soft or firm pins. I don’t use a slicker brush often. Actually, I can’t even find mine right now.
- Mars Coat King. Easily removes dead hair and undercoat. Normally used to de-bulk heavy coated areas like the chest, and pants, It’s actually a stripper and has blades. It should be used sparingly and with care.I don’t use it often but when I do I use for Sherman’s chest and his pants area where he is very thick. While sizes vary and people use a variety of sizes the most common among Newfie people seems to be 18″ blade double wide and that is the one I have BUT some people may use a different size.
- Mat Splitter. These tools are used to help cut up matts so that you can comb them easier. They come in several varieties. I don’t use it often but I have one with a single blade. Use caution when using a mat splitter. They are sharp and can leave holes.
- Fine tooth comb I use a fine tooth comb for the ears. I probably don’t have to, but I do.
- Greyhound comb. My favorite comb. This is great for line combing and to remove debris from the coat. It has two sides: one with pins that are closer together for fine hair and a side where the pins are farther apart for coarse hair. Again, this comes in a variety of sizes. I use the medium/coarse.
- Thinning shears. Thinning shears are great if your nervous about using scissors they have a normal blade on one side and a blade that looks like a comb on the other They can be used to thin out the hair on the ears, paws, chest , pants and other areas of the dog’s body. These can range in price, shape and sizes. The best thing you can is find that is comfortable to use. The 40 tooth shear is a good option. The less teeth, the choppier the cut. If you’re going to invest in any scissor this would be the one that I would put my money towards. You can also get these at beauty supply stores.
- Straight shears. Not everyone is comfortable using straight shears but they can be great for trimming fly away hairs and paws. Shears can get pricey. I’ve bought a few from local hair supply stores and saved a few bucks but the blades dull fast. Use these carefully! Straight shears can easily cut the skin and will leave a choppy look if you are using them on the body. I’ve made this mistake plenty of times, just ask Sherman. If you get a pair find one that feels comfortable to use. There’s nothing worse than getting your thumb stuck in the thumb hole.
- Curved shears. These are often used to give shape to ears, paws and legs. I hardly ever use mine. Even when we showed I didn’t use curved shears much. I prefer the straight shears and a clean line.
Other Grooming Tools
- Clippers. Clippers can be used in places of straight shears. Mostly on the paws or for a short belly trim in the warmer months. I’m in need of a new one but I had an Oster that lasted me years. They come in a variety of different styles. The blade size will depend on what your trying to accomplish.
- Grooming table.If you pan on taking on the task of being your Newfs sole groomer, a Grooming table is a great invest from the start. Not only will it save your back but it will also help keep a Newfie in a single place. My recommendation is to introduce the grooming table to your Newf when they are a puppy. We did not do this with Sherman and we had a heck of a time with him getting use to it. With Leroy he was on the table the day he came home and loved it ever since. There’s several different grooming tables available. Some come at a set height while others are adjustable. Since I’m short, we cut a few inches off of ours. Our table is 48 inches long and both the boys fit perfectly on it. I must note that a dog should never be left alone on a grooming. Serious injuries can result if they fall off. A sleeping Newfie on a grooming table should be monitored also, even when you are standing right there. Sherman has almost rolled off more than once.
- High velocity dog dryer. A velocity dog drier is an important tool if you will be bathing your Newf yourself or if you have a Newf that likes to swim. Drying a wet dog will help cut down on hot spots because a high velocity drier gets down to the skin. It can also be used on dry coat to blow out loose hair and dander. Do you know how much dander a Newf can accumulate? Dryers can be costly and there’s a ton of options available. I still use the one we got 20 years ago. A cool dryer with different air flow settings is nice to have. Some of the more popular driers among Newfie owners are the K9 high velocity dog dryers and Metro Air Force dryers. I have a Metro Force, it’s lasted me years. NEVER use a regular human blow dryer on a Newf. It gets too hot and it will never dry their coat. Note: It can take several hours to completely dry a Newfoundland so set aside time for that. Check out our post How To Choose a Dog Dryer For Your Newfoundland.
- Grooming spray. A grooming spray makes for an easier brush and comb out. Dry hair tends to break. I don’t use a grooming spray every single time but if it’s a full out grooming session I do. With so many available it’s hard to recommend one. Pick a smell that you like or one that works with your dog’s coat condition. Currently I’m using Earthbath Vanilla Almond but I’ve used at least a dozen different ones over the years. When we showed I used Crown Royale and Ice on Ice Detangler Spray.
- Tackle Box. A tackle box is a great place to store all your small grooming tools! Scissors and combs on the top and brushes and spray on the bottom!
If you decide to take on all your Newfoundland’s grooming care it can be a great bonding experience for you both. I feel it’s very therapeutic. Starting them young is the best way to go. I hope this list is helpful to those of you who have been asking about grooming tools over the years!
**The links contained in this post are used as a guideline and does not imply that these are the exact products you need. Many grooming tools are based on personal preference. I have small hands so I like smaller grooming tools that won’t cause my fingers and palms to cramp. I also prefer wooden tools. My preference is not necessarily going to be your preference. 🙂
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